“Dragonstone”, the season 7 opener of “Game Of Thrones” fulfilled its duty in picking up where the show had left off more than 15 months prior. As every other GoT episode before it, the opener had a main theme that the story was centered upon.
The main theme returns many times in this episode, and it will discussed when and how, is of causality: how every action has its specific sets of consequences, regardless of time. Many characters in this episode get to understand, live, and sometime even suffer or repent once they realize that their action(s) in the past, whether in previous seasons or beforehand, whether directly or indirectly, comes with its appropriate repercussions towards them.
And it all starts with the most hated House in Westeros, the Freys:
Arya completes his revenge by killing all of the remaining Freys, poisoning them while wearing their father Walder’s face in the very same hall where the Red Wedding occurred; where her brother, mother, sister and law and unborn nephew had been slaughtered.
A pretty solid way to begin the season and give the fans a satisfactory sense of justice for the Starks. She spares the wife and servant girl, as they had no direct involvement in the Red Wedding, and serve as a witness to her words and action: “If anyone asks you what happened here, tell them that the North Remembers. Tell them Winter Came for House Frey”
With regards to the theme of action and reaction as was discussed in the introduction, in this case it would be the Freys who are suffering the consequences of their actions in the past with their treason to the Starks and Tullys.
Beyond The Wall
Once the credits are finished rolling, we witness the Night King North of the Wall and his army of Wights. His army even has 2 resurrected Wildling Giants in their midst marching towards thew Wall.
Turns out we are seeing it through a warging Bran who is now at the gates of the Wall in Castle Black with Meera.
Dolorous Edd opens the gates for them and is creeped out by how Bran knows about his 2 battles with the Dead at The Fist of the First Men (Season 2 Finale) and Hardhome (Season 5).
In Winterfell, Jon Snow summons the families to start training and mining for Dragonglass.
Requesting the women and girls be at it as well gives the opportunity for Lyanna Mormont to give us another epic speech where she, again, puts Lord Glover in his place.
An argument is made over the fate of the Umbers and Karstarks who had betrayed the Starks and joined with the Boltons in Season 5. This create tension between Sansa and Jon, as she doubts his decision and second guesses him in front of the other Lords present in the room. Sansa wants them punished, whereas Jon believes that the family that had been loyal to the Starks for many centuries should not be punished by the rogue actions of a few “reckless sons”.
Ned Umber and Alys Karstark are given their opportunity to pledge their allegiance to House Stark again. In this case, Jon believes in doing the right thing as the young lords should not be the ones to suffer the consequences of their older siblings. Those consequences were paid in full, and proper punishment was instilled when Harald Karstark and Smalljon Umber were killed at the Battle of the Bastards.
We get a gorgeous aerial shot of Winterfell
Jon receives a Raven from Kings Landing from Queen Cersei Lannister to come to Kings Landing and bend the knee, or be considered a traitor. Jon knows better, as the real enemy is in the North, and not in the South.
In Kings Landing
Cersei is having a map of Westeros painted in the Red Keep. Her brother Jaime and her discuss their current position, devoid of any strong allies, and overwhelmed with many enemies across all fronts: Daenerys’ Army sailing for Dragonstone in the East, the Dornish in the South, the Tyrells in the West, and the Starks in the North. She lets Jaime know of a potential new ally she personally invited.
They argue over their brother Tyrion, now the Hand of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. Cersei reminds Jaime of his action of letting their brother free, and of all the consequences that ensued: the death of their father, the death of their son, and now, siding with an invading enemy and providing useful information on how to use it against them.
The Ironborn Arrive In Kings Landing
Euron Greyjoy sails in Kings Landing and offers his Iron Fleet to Cersei in exchange for her hand. An offer she is quick to decline, given his complete untrustworthiness. Jaime also doesn’t waste a moment to remind Euron on how the Greyjoys once Rebelled against the Iron Throne, with him even starting the Rebellion by attacking the Lannister fleet at Casterly Rock.
Back to the theme of causality, Euron is here reminded of his actions in the Past when he rebelled against the Throne and attacked the very same family he is now trying to ally with. Yet the Crows Eye doesn’t seem to settle for such consequences and considers repairing his wrongdoings from the past towards the Lannister in the only way he feels he can: he promises to win Cersei by offering her a special gift when he is to return to Kings Landing. It will most likely the result of a naval battle with this niece and nephew in an upcoming episode, as seen in the trailers.
Sam In The Citadel
Sam is tasked with cleaning the latrines in the Citadel. Taking note of the restricted area and summons the Archmaester to grant him access, something he gets denied fairly swiftly.
The Maesters do not believe the tales of “The Long Night” and do not even believe the existence of White Walkers, despite Sam having both seen their army (Season 2), and having killed one (Season 3). This pushes Sam to steal the keys while the Maesters are sleeping and steal some of the books for him to read at the home where he, Gilly and little Sam are staying.
There he finds out about Valyrian Steel, with the book showcasing Littlefinger’s dagger, definitely used as a Tchekov’s Gun; it will make an appearance, and maybe even be used this season or the next one. Arya being pictured wearing it in the Entertainment Weekly promo covers for Season 7 almost gave that away.
Sam also finds out about mine of Obsidian/Dragonglass all over Dragonstone, something Stannis had told him about in Season 5 while they were both at Castle Black.
Back In Winterfell
Brienne spars with Podrick in the Winterfell courtyard. Tormund’s presence distracts her and lets Podrick land a good shot on her.
Sansa and Littlefinger discuss as they watch this scene. While she is still in debt to him for having used the Knights of the Vale come to the rescue during the Battle of the Bastards, Sansa is still weary of Littlefinger, now that she knows what his real motive is.
Arya In The Riverlands
After having left the Twins, Arya is riding to Kings Landing. She meets a group of Lannister soldiers, including a singer played by Ed Sheeran. She lets them know she is heading South to “Kill the Queen” (and complete her Kill List), something they take as a joke. Who knows how this encounter will end…
The Brotherhood Without Banners Rides North
The Hound and the Brotherhood without Banners are riding North.
They find an abandoned farm.
The Hound is reluctant to enter and here’s why:
It is the same farm he and Arya had spent a night and had dinner with the owner and his daughter in Season 4.
The Hound had stolen his gold and justified it by referring to them as weak and not lasting the winter for being so weak.
Seeing them dead, the father putting an end to their misery, gets to him, as he realizes that there is no true “divine justice” in this world. Another character that is living the consequences of his actions from many seasons ago. By stealing the man’s gold, he was now unable to survive the arriving Winter. The Hound’s actions is what led the man to kill both himself and his daughter. The Hound now has the consequences of his past actions coming back to haunt him in a way.
The only way to make it right the best way he can at this point is to give them a proper burial. Thoros helps him in his task.
Beforehand, while still in the Cabin, the Hound confronts his fear of flames and is able to have visions in them. He sees the Wall, by the Sea, most likely Eastwatch By The Sea, another castle of the Nights Watch we have yet to see in the show, with the Army of the Dead heading for it…
Jorah’s Quest For A Cure
Sam Encounters Jorah Mormont getting healed in the Citadel for his Greyscale. We can expect some encounters between the two. Keep in mind that Sam had witnessed the treasonous murder of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, Jorah’s father, during the mutiny at Crasters Keep in Season 3. He asks to know if Daenerys has arrived in Westeros. Sam has heard nothing of it, so it’s established she has not yet arrived.
Daenerys, her fleet and her dragons finally land at Dragonstone.
After a long and lengthy walk on its shores, they enter the castle.
Dany is back home now, time to redecorate; and it starts by removing Stannis’ Banners from the wall.
Tyrion and her walk inside the battle room which had last been used by Stannis in Season 4.
Once the shivers of finally being home are gone, Daenerys gets back to business with Tyrion: “Shall We Begin”